April is National Volunteer Month. Here’s how you can give back in Macomb County.

It seems that there’s a day or month to mark every occasion. National Ice Cream Day, National Siblings Day, National Barbeque Month; the list goes on and on. But this month, April, celebrates something very important – volunteering. The act of donating your time to give back to your community and those in need. It’s simple, but it can have an incredible impact. For instance, several months ago, I volunteered to deliver meals through the Macomb County Meals on Wheels program and I wrote about that experience here. Through the donation of several hours of my time, more than 15 local senior citizens received emergency meal and supply boxes that would help them during winter.

adult-african-afro-1083619That small act of service reminded me how lucky I am and made me feel good. It also showed me the importance of volunteering, because our communities benefit and on a more personal level, our health does as well. In fact, according to a recent study by United HealthCare and Volunteer Match, volunteering for as little as two to 2.5 hours each week can be beneficial for your health. Additionally, 75 percent of those who volunteered in the past year said that it made them feel “physically healthier.” And more than one-third (34 percent) of those who volunteered found participating helped them to better manage their chronic illnesses, compared to those who have not volunteered in the past 12 months.

Reading those stats is pretty convincing; we should all volunteer as often as possible! And with it being half way through April, National Volunteer Month, now is the perfect time to start exploring how you can get involved and give back to your community.

One of the easiest ways to immerse yourself in Macomb County’s rich network of volunteers is to get involved in a local service organization. The impact of our Kiwanis, Rotary and Optimist members (and others) in all of our communities runs deep and makes all of our neighborhoods better places to live.

Not sure what a service organization does? Check out the NEW MMYH Directory of Service Organizations to learn more about each organization’s mission, activities, location, meeting time and more here. And let us know how you choose to get involved in the comments. We’d love to celebrate how Macomb County gives back in our next blog.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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